Katie Kanzler – Washington Nomination by Megan Walsh Photography by Shannon Hollman Issue 49 of Inspiring Teens Magazine
Nomination: Katie is a brilliant young woman who has worked diligently to understand the impact of anxiety in her life and the lives of her peers. Katie is a skilled soccer and lacrosse player and a talented artist in addition to taking college classes while in high school. Katie has shared her story of recognizing anxiety as a personal issue at local elementary schools and is building a skill set to help her continue to thrive. Katie works as a tutor for younger children and volunteers with a local child development center and horse rescue.
What else should we definitely know about you? A big thing to know about me is that I am big on volunteering. I love helping people out, especially those that are less fortunate and may not have the same opportunities as I do. I am also very open about my struggles with mental health and how my chronic illness has affected me. It took me a very long time to be at the point I am now, and I am proud of myself for how far I have come.
What inspiring things about you does your nomination not cover? My nomination does not cover how my chronic illness has affected me the last five years. Managing extended school absences while taking AP classes and being enrolled in college while simultaneously going through numerous treatments and getting no answers took a massive toll on both my physical and mental health, as well as my social life. As a young teen, it was a lot to try and handle all at once while starting high school.
If you were to present a topic to a group of your peers, what would it be and why? I would talk about mental illnesses and how the narrative surrounding the topic has greatly improved, it still needs to change in order to increase the number of teens and young adults that reach out for help. I have struggled with severe mental illness, and due to the stigma surrounding it, I was afraid to reach out. I believe that if everyone could be more open with their struggles, people would not have to fight alone, and they could receive the help they need.
Look for Katie in issue 49 of Inspiring Teens Magazine!